Emanuel Persein Beranek

Born 1-18-1863 Uhlirske Janovice #179     Died 11-25-1919 Chicago, Illinois

Census records indicate that Emanuel Beranek arrived in the United States in 1883.  Emanuel departed Port Hamburg on July 6, 1883, traveling to Scotland, aboard the ship Breslau.  Emanuel arrived at Port New York City on July 24, 1883 aboard the ship Ethiopia.  Two unusual ads were run in the Slovan Americky Newspaper of Cedar Rapids, Iowa related to Beranek.  Karel Taborsky of Cincinnati, Ohio placed the ads seeking his whereabouts, assuming he had left Bohemia for Chicago.  He was looking for Emanuel as his parents needed to contact him. (1)

His sister Bibiana, departed Port Hamburg on October 4, 1887, aboard the ship Chester and arrived at Port New York City on October 18, 1887 aboard the ship Nevada.  His father, Joseph, mother, Anna, and sister, Bozena departed Port Hamburg on September 19, 1889 and arrived at Port New York City on September 28, 1889 aboard the ship Columbia.  Both sisters would marry and live in the Chicago area.  Emanuel would have a short marriage, with his wife dying not long there after.  Emmanuel and his parents are buried in Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago.  In a short period of just three decades Emanuel would become an author, continue on in his career as a stock broker, and be remembered for those achievements and his extensive support of Bohemian causes and establishments.

The newspaper, Denni Hlasatel, published a summary:  "On November 25, 1919, in the Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital, 1120 North Leavitt Street, one of our best-known countrymen, Mr. Emanuel Beranek, died after a long illness. Recently his last will and testament was submitted to the Probate Court. From this last will and testament, it is apparent that Mr. Emanuel Beranek, just like many other immigrants, came to the United States comparatively poor and achieved a remarkable success, because the estate is estimated at $95,000. Mr. Emanuel Beranek's last will and testament was made and signed July 7, 1917, and was witnessed by his associated in business: Messrs. Wenceslav F. Jarosh, George O. Jarosh, and William J. Jarosh, all of 1030 Milwaukee Avenue. The Illinois Trust and Savings Bank is named as one executor and it will also act as trustee. In this last will and testament of Mr. Beranek, many of our Bohemian institutions are remembered, and these donations give evidence of his generosity....." (2)

Father Joseph Beranek was born in June of 1834 at Radsovice #30.

Mother Anna Persein Beranek was born on February 8, 1837 at Uhlirske Janovice #20.

Joseph and Anna were married on April 23, 1861 at Uhlirske Janovice.

Son, Emanuel Persein Beranek was born on January 18, 1863 at Uhlirske Janovice #179, as were several of his other siblings.  An Anna Persein is listed as midwife on his record.

There appear to be few early records or documents for Emanuel Beranek.  A city of Chicago directory has Emanuel Beranek, in 1885, at 2 Currier Street, listed as working in a saloon.  In January of 1885, Emanuel married Anna Cech.  The ceremony took place in Saint Boniface Catholic Church in Chicago. (3)

Anna Cech is the daughter of John (Find A Grave 211386823) and Francisca (Find A Grave 211486943) Cech.  John and Anna, and their daughter Barbara, age 4, arrived at Port New York City from Port Bremen on 9-19-1859 aboard the ship Atlantic.  Anna was born in Illinois.  It appears that Anna died in July of 1887.  A baby died around the same time.  Anna (Find A Grave 188775783), baby, and parents are buried in the same family plot in Chicago's Saint Boniface Catholic Cemetery.

Emanuel Beranek would never marry again.  An 1888 Chicago Directory lists Beranek as living at 556 Noble and having the profession as a bookkeeper.  In the 1890 Chicago Directory he is listed as the same address with laborer as the only description, but in 1892 he is once again listed as a bookkeeper working at 218 Michigan and living at 29 Emma.

The Czech language publication, "Duch Casu", in 1888 and 1889 called for the enrollment of students in the Czech School of the 16th Ward.  Both articles mentioned that Emanuel Beranek was a teacher at that Czech school. (4)

There is an 1894 posting in the Chicago Tribune of the incorporation of a company in which Emanuel Beranek is listed.  No other record for this company has yet been found.  It was related to gynasiums, which at that time appears to have several meanings.

1896 becomes a major turning point in the business career of Emanuel Beranek.  Emanuel published, through the vast Chicago based printing and publishing company of August Geringer, one of the first major Czech cookbooks, printed in the United States, in the Czech language.  It is an extensive book, comprising over 500 pages and reflects a great interest of Emanuel's for which there seem to be no earlier Internet records to demonstrate that.

On November 22, 1896, August Geringer published an article promoting the new cook book created by Emanuel Beranek: (This a translation using Google Translate, which seems to provide a sense of what the article, published in Czech, conveyed)

"New Home Cookbook

For a Czech-American housewife, compiled according to the best Czech, American and French sources on the basis of American measures and weights, an experienced expert Mr. Emanuel Persein Beránek It will be the best, most thorough and reliable handbook and we are sure of the greatest popularity. The writer's principle was the golden rule of every good housekeeper, cheap and tasty.) It excelled in all that had been published in that regard. It will be a complete and easy-to-understand guide to preparing all kinds of meat and other dishes, pastries, confectionery, jams and drinks, there will be many instructions for the household inevitable and the price of this rare work will be very low. Every single issue found in this book will be examined.

The new domestic Czech will fill a gap in Czech-American literature for a certain long-felt feeling and become a welcome leader and advisor to our women. To the will of the poorest, even the poorest will be published first in notebooks, which will be sold after 20ct, by post 22ct. There will be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 8 workbooks, each of which will read 64 printed pages, so that it is clear how cheap this work will be.

The first notebook has already been published and contains a preface, instruction on food, meat soups, so-called Lenten soups, cold and hot flavors, and a number of sauces. The book, we cannot give it except for cash in advance. We can be expected to be directly inundated with orders, which is why "we ask all those who would like to receive the work in notebooks to register in time with the executives of" Svornosti "," American "and" Spirit of Time ", magazine distributors of those or directly at the publisher

AUG. GERÍNGERA,  150 W. 12th St., Chicago, 111." (5)

Top Left - Cook Book Cover  Top Middle - Title Page Top Right - Image of Emanuel Beranek in the 1896 Cook Book

Left - 1911 Advertisement for Beranek's Cook Book
Right - Example of napkin folding from 1896 Cook Book

Below Left - Advertisement in 1896 Cook Book  Below Center - Advertisement in 1896 Cook Book Below Right Example of carving techniques from 1896 Cook Book

All Images (6)

Emanuel Beranek's 1896 Cook Book was a success.  One could buy portions of the cook book, or the whole book.  Advertisements for the cook book, appearing in Geringer publications, continued for several decades.

Perhaps that publication was a turning point in his career, as Beranek began to turn his attention and efforts to the world of investments, stock brokerages, and banking.  The 1897 Chicago Directory lists Emanuel as living at 29 Emma, but working as a cashier at the Rookery Building in downtown Chicago.  The 1900 Federal Census lists Emanuel as a stock broker, living at 604 North Humboldt, with his parents Joseph and Anna.

Newspaper articles can be found which help trace Emanuel's continued activities in the world of finance.  The Chicago Tribune, on September 1, 1905 posted the dissolution of the firm of King, Hodenply and Company, and the formation of a new company, John C. King and Company in which Emanuel Beranek is listed as a partner.  Just two years later, the Chicago Tribune, on January 1, 1907 posted a notice that the John C. King and Company, located in the Rookery Building, was dissolved.  A new company was formed, named the firm of Babcock, Rushton and Louderback.  A previous Chicago Tribune article on November 2, 1906 had mentioned that King and Beranek were retiring from the firm on the day the company was to be dissolved.

Beranek continued his endeavors in the world of Chicago finances.  The Chicago newspaper, Inter Ocean, reported on June 28, 1911 that Emanuel Beranek was elected as a member of the Chicago Board of Trade.  Beranek also became a Director of the newly formed American State Bank.

Denní Hlasatel -- 19 March, 1911

"A meeting was held recently in the Pilsen Sokol hall by the members of the American State Bank, the new Bohemian enterprise, in which almost all of the stockholders participated.  As is known, this enterprise for which great success is assured by the number and names of the participants, will have its business place in the real centre of Bohemian Pilsen. It will occupy the premises formerly occupied by the Pelikan drug store at Blue Island and Loomis Streets, near 18th Street. The following gentlemen were elected to the Board of Directors: Jan Karel, J. F. Stepina, Jan Fucik, F. J. Skala, Karel Kresl, 2C. R. Wallek, James Storkan, John C. Krasa, Emanuel Beranek and A. V. Geringer.  The Board of Directors then held a meeting and elected the following named officers: Jan Karel, president; C. R. Walleck, vice president and J. F. Stepina, treasurer." (7)

Emanuel Beranek may have entered into new careers, but one still continued.  In 1911 and surrounding years, ads continued to be posted in Czech papers for his 1896 cook book.

A book, "Burnham's Manual of Chicago Securities, 1918, listed that the American State Bank, established in April 3,1911, listed Emanuel Beranek as Vice President and as a Director.  (8) This bank would, in just a few short years, merge with William Kaspar's Kaspar American State Bank.

On May 15, 1911, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Newapaper announced that a new firm was being formed.  Babcock Ruston and Company was formed from an older business and now included Emanuel Beranek as one of its partners.





By 1914 health issues began to greatly influence the life and activities of Emanuel Beranek.  An article in the Kalendar indicates that he left the world of finances at this time.  Early in 1918, Emanuel suffered a major health setback, having a stroke.  The Kalendar article described his activities and referenced spending 21 months in a hospital.







Emanuel Beranek died on November 25, 1919.  He is buried in Lot 11, Block 4, Section V of the Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, along with his father, who died before him, and his mother who died almost ten years later.  In 1910 Emanuel commissioned a Czech sculptor, Mario Korbel, to create the monument for the family grave.  Named, the Resignation, the monument is one of the more famous ones to be found in the cemetery. (9)


Emanuel Beranek in Mexico in 1908

Professor Alois Richard Nykl, born in Bohemia in 1885, and dying in Chicago in 1958 (Find A Grave 212039610). Earning his advanced degree at the University of Chicago, and holding positions at Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and Harvard was a romance language specialist.  He wrote over 50 books and articles related to his passion.  He is listed in Ancestry, more for all of the records of trips he took to many nations of the world, than for other records.  Familiar with Mexico, and having spent time there, Professor Nykl became the tour guide for a February 1908 visit of Emanuel Beranek, Mr. Kaspar Chicago Banker, J.M. and Martin Kralovcova, Mr. Miskak, Chairman of Pilsen Timber Company, Mr. Novak, Chicago banker, Mr. Karl Novak, owner of a textile shop, and Mr. Karel  Vopicka, who would become the USA consul to Balkans.  In 1926, he published a short story of that visit.  Below is a decent, but not good, Google Translate rendition of that story.

"A pleasant memory from those years will always be the trip of well-known Chicago compatriots, who in a special Pullman's car drove to Mexico in February 1908 and asked me to be their guide on various rides and wanderings. The leader of the expedition was Mr. Karel Vopička, later an envoy of the United States in the Balkans, accompanied by his wife and daughter Victoria. Other members of the group were Mr. Emanuel Beránek, banker and gastronome, Mr. Kašpar, banker, pp. J. M. and Martin Královcová, Mr. Mikšák, Chairman of the Pilsen Timber Company, Mr. Novák, Banker, and Mr. Karel Novák, Owner of the Dyeing Shop. Needless to say, they compared each other well and were still full of whim, poking fun at their various hobbies and weaknesses. Mr. Beránek has always been the head of restaurants, where it was a selection of dishes christened with Italian names, and his decisions were not always happy. Mr. Vopička was the official speaker during diplomatic visits to the United States Embassy and Chapultepek Castle. Revealing more about the various other adventures experienced on trips around Mexico City and on the way to Veracruz would be a breach of confession, and almost half of the group is already alive. I remembered these dead - Messrs. Beránek, Kašpar, Mikšák and Karel Novák - recently on their way from Veracruz through the enchanting landscape between Maltrat and Boča del Monte, after more than seventeen years." (10)

You can really find all sorts of things on the Internet

While continuing to seek information on the life of Emanuel Beranek, I found a newspaper article relating how generous he was in distributing his estate among family and Czech individuals and organizations.  I found in Ancestry a copy of his probate / will.  The will indicated land in Montana, but Ancestry did not have any further records on that.  I tried Family Search and discovered that Emanuel, in 1913, had purchased a bit more than 900 acres of land in Broadwater County, Montana from the Crawley family.  Family search had the handwritten records of the purchase, and general description of the purchased land location.


Family search had a publicly accessible copy of Emanuel's will and the distribution of his assets.  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C951-CS5S-Z?i=1708&cat=1113896) and the government of Montana had a web site (http://svc.mt.gov/msl/mtcadastral/) which showed the land on various maps.  When Emanuel purchased his property, it included water rights to the Missouri River.  The Montana web site also provides new images of his former property showing crop circles, irrigated crop circles, as the land is farmed and irrigated from water access to the Missouri River.

From Family Search - 1913 Broadwater County Record of Land Sales from the Crawleys to Emanuel Beranek.

From Family Search - 1914 - Emanuel Beranek is provided a mortgage on Montana Lands by Pieter Deuwes Bierma

Outline map illustrating the counties of the state of Montana.  Broadwater County is highlighted.

Map of Broadwater County, Totson area, highlighting Township 5 North, Range 2 East, the area of Beranek's land purchase.

Map of Broadwater County, Totson Area, closer focus on Sections 34 and 26, the two sections of Beranek's land purchase.

Aerial view of Township 5 North, Range 2 East, showing Sections 34 and 26 highlighted and filled with irrigated farming crop circles, using Missouri River water.

Denni Hlasatel Newspaper February 27, 1920

......."The bequests to our public institutions are as follows: Ceske Utulne a Sirotcinci (the Bohemian Old People's Home and Orphanage), $1,000; Cesko-slovenskemu Narodnimu Sdruzeni (the Czechoslovak National Alliance), $1,000; Sokolu Cechie (the Bohemian Falcon Association), $500; Ceske Pevecke Spolecnosti Lyra (the Bohemian Singing Society Lyra), $200; Ceske Debrocinne Spolecnosti (the Bohemian Charitable Association), $200; Ceske Opatrovne (the Bohemian Children's Home), $200; Sdruzeni Ceskych Svobodomyslnych Skol (the Alliance of Bohemian Rationalistic Schools), $500; Karel Jonas and Jan Amos Komensky Skolam (the Karel Jonas and Jan Amos Commenius Schools), $100 each; Frantisek B. Zdrubek Skole (the Frank B. Zdrubek School), $100. Altogether there were about thirty beneficiaries, and among the other recipients named are: Cekse Narodni Museum v Praze (the National Museum in Frague); the United Encampments No. 192 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; the Sisters of the Holy Family, operating the Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital. [The amounts bequeathed to these institutions are not given]. The court hearing in regard to this last will and testament of Mr. Emanuel Beranek, will be held sometime in April of this year." ( )


(1) "Slovan Americky", Newspaper, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, J. Barta Letovsky, 12-19-1883 and 12-26-1883.

(2) "Denni Hlasatel", "Generous Bequest", Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, August Geringer, 2-27-1920.

(3) "Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6PHZ-22Y?cc=1452409&wc=M66P-9T1%3A39777501%2C40344301 : 20 May 2014), St Boniface Parish (Chicago: Noble St) > Marriages 1865-1915 > image 40 of 184; Catholic Church parishes, Chicago Diocese, Chicago.

(4) "Duch Casu", Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, August Geringer, 8-19-1888, Page 1, 10-13-1889, Page 2.

(5) "Duch Casu", Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, Editor Frantisek Zdrubek, Publisher August Geringer, 11-22-1896, Page 127.

(6) "Nova Domaci Kucharka", Emanuel Persein Beranek, Publisher August Geringer, Chicago, 1896.  Digitized for Microsoft Corporation by the Internet Archive in 2006.

(7) "A Board of Directors and Officers for the New Bohemian Enterprise the American State Bank", "Denni Hlasatel", Newspaper, Chicago Illinois, Publisher, August Geringer, March 19, 1911.

(8) "Burnham's Manual of Chicago Securities 1918", Compiled by James J. Fitzgerald, Publisher John Burnham & Company, Chicago, 1918, Page 30.

(9) Image "Resignation", Publication, "Amerikan Kalendar", 1921, August Geringer, Chicago, Illinois,  Page 153.

(10) "ČESKÁ KOLONIE V MEXIKU". Publicantion, "Amerikan Kalendar", 1926, August Geringer, Chicago, Illinois. Page 299.

(11 ) "Denni Hlasatel", "Generous Bequest", Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, August Geringer, 2-27-1920.